December 25, 2015 - 8:30 AM
Thousands of people will be jumping into their vehicles and hitting the B.C. highways visit friends and relatives, or driving to their favourite winter recreation area.
To keep you out of the ditch, the province has provided a list of tips to make sure your trip is a safe one.
- Look ahead at the route and weather. Drive B.C. has information on all highways in the province, including weather forecasts and highways cams. Drive B.C. has produced a handy video to help you navigate its website.
- Be storm ready. With typical winter storms in B.C. downed power lines are common, as are flooding, power outages, landslides and hazardous driving conditions. Be sure to drive cautiously and stay away from downed power lines as well as damaged or flooded roads.
- Prepare for an unexpected delay in cold temperatures by keeping warm clothing and food handy and a full gas tank. For a full list of recommended items to have in your vehicle check out this TranBC webpage.
- Highways can be closed to traffic for avalanche control, extreme weather or motor vehicle incidents. There may not be a detour available.
- Is the driver rested and ready? Snow, ice and long distances can be trying for drivers whose experience in these conditions may be limited. Have a look at the seven things to know before driving the Coquihalla or other mountain passes.
- Expect the unexpected such as wild animals crossing, or loss of traction, or needing a lot more stopping room. Always drive to the conditions, keep alert and leave space to stop safely. Stay alert, stay safe and enjoy the drive.
Image Credit: Contributed/Government of B.C.
- Is the vehicle ready for the road? Winter tires are required on highways outside southern coastal areas Oct. 1 to March 31. The Ministry of Transportation has been running a public awareness campaign called Shift Into Winter which includes a webpage full of helpful information about winter tires.
In good condition, winter tires have a minimum 3.5 mm tread depth to provide the traction needed to drive safely on highways where winter weather can be expected. Ensure the vehicle is mechanically sound and has good wipers as well as working headlights and taillights.
- If you plan to drink, look for a designated driver. That could mean a friend, a taxi service, or, in Kamloops, Operation Red Nose. According to ICBC an average of 29 people are killed in the Southern Interior crashes involving impaired driving every year.
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